Written For Football Fans
By a Football Fan
Last season: 11-5
#24 WR Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State)
This is a great pick by the Cowboys and a great move up. Bryant gives their offense another potent weapon across from Miles Austin and sends a huge wake up call to Roy Williams. If the Cowboys can get Roy Williams going, with Bryant, Austin, and Jason Witten in the receiving corps, plus Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice at running back and Tony Romo playing quarterback, in terms of pure offensive weapons, this team may lead the league. That doesn’t necessarily translate to a Super Bowl, but it certainly helps.
#55 MLB Sean Lee (Penn State)
Lee has first round talent, but a questionable bill of health. If his knee holds up, he’s well worth this selection as a young middle linebacker successor for Keith Brooking and a solid character and leadership guy. However, it was also a bit of a risk.
#126 S Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (IUPUI)
AOA is certainly a great playmaker, who can pick off a bunch of passes and do good things with the ball in his hands and he’s a dynamic kick returner, but I have a some doubts about his ability in coverage, even as a safety. Plus, he’s never, from what I know, played a lot of safety before at the collegiate level. However, this is a great value pick and makes a lot of sense even if he just ends up as a nickel corner and a return man.
#179 OT Sam Young (Notre Dame)
Sam Young fits what they look for in an offensive lineman and may be their right tackle of the future, but he has major issues in pass protection and possibly could hurt the Cowboys next year if they try to use him too much. Other than that, this is a great value and a great pick for the future.
#196 CB Jamar Wall (Texas Tech)
I guess this is a good indication of where they plan to use AOA. Wall is a moderate reach and fills a bit of a need, you never know how much longer Terrence Newman has in the tank, but the Cowboys already had 3 solid cornerbacks, 4 if they have to move AOA to cornerback, so this was not a great pick.
#234 3-4 DE Sean Lissemore (William & Mary)
Another player who was not one of the 400-450 players I had heard of from this draft class, so the decision to take him was a bit questionable, plus he is only 6-2 and doesn’t appear to have the height to play end in a 3-4. Plus, 3-4 end wasn’t much of a need.
The Cowboys didn’t have a lot of picks to begin with, and they had even less after that Dez Bryant trade, but that being said, that Dez Bryant trade was brilliant and makes the Cowboys an extremely dangerous offensive team and when you combine that with their strong pass rush on defense, you can make some good things happen. Assuming they don’t revert to their December choking ways, this team has to be the favorite to win the tough NFC East and a Super Bowl contender. They made every one of their picks count, for the most part and acquired a ton of talent and upside in this draft. They could have gotten 3 future starters in this draft, and AOA is a solid future nickelback and kick returner, and has some upside at safety. Their picks dropped off a bit at the end, in terms of my grades, but those were late round picks anyway and, who knows, maybe I’ll be wrong about one or both of them. The only complaint I have about their draft, is that I don’t think they did enough to get depth on the offensive line, especially with Flozell Adams being cut. That was their biggest need coming into this draft, in my opinion, and they only used one pick there. They could have used one or two of their late round picks on a guard and/or center. However, with the talent they got out of this draft, it’s hard to give them a bad grade.
Key undrafted free agents
CB Bryan McCann (SMU)
3-4 DE Lorenzo Washington (Alabama)
RB Lonyae Miller (Fresno State)
QB Matt Nichols (Eastern Washington)
OT Mike Tepper (California)
TE Scott Sicko (New Hampshire)
WR Terrell Hudgins (Elon)
S Barry Church (Toledo)
WR Verran Tucker (California)
Positions of need:
The Cowboys need depth all along their offensive line. Their lack of depth was shown in the playoffs when Tony Romo was sacked 6 times by the Vikings after the Cowboys suffered a few injuries up front. Also, everyone on their offensive line is over 30 so young depth is clearly necessary. Offensive tackle just happens to be the most important offensive line position. The Cowboys like bigger offensive linemen so guys like Anthony Davis in the first and Vlad Ducasse and Kyle Calloway in the 2nd could be targeted.
Drafted Sam Young (#179), Traded for Alex Barron
Keith Brooking had a good year, but he will turn 35 next season. Next to him in the middle of their 3-4 defense, Bradie James could also be upgraded immediately. Sean Weatherspoon and Brandon Spikes could be options in the first round.
Drafted Sean Lee (#55)
Again, depth is needed all over their offensive line. The Cowboys reportedly love Mike Iupati and likely will take him at 27 if he’s available. He would be an immediate upgrade over Kyle Kosier at left guard.
Jay Ratliff is a great player, but his skill set would be better utilized at 3-4 defensive end rather than nose tackle. If they get a true nose tackle, either Terrence Cody in the first or Cam Thomas in the 2nd, they can move Ratliff to end and it will make their entire defense that much better. Add a big nose tackle like Cody to the middle of their defense and it opens up more space for what was already one of the best pass rushes in the league.
Ken Hamlin could be upgraded and depth overall is needed at the position.
Drafted Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (#126)
Patrick Crayton could be upgraded in the slot and I am not sure how much longer they want to give Roy Williams before they admit he was a bad trade and start someone else over him. Getting a young receiver this year could solve both of those issues.
Drafted Dez Bryant (#24)
WR Miles Austin (restricted)- tendered (1st, 3rd)
WR Sam Hurd (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.7 million
OT Flozell Adams
OT Pat McQuistan (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.1 million
G Montrae Holland- 2 years
G Cory Procter (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.7 million
C Duke Preston (restricted)
3-4 DE Marcus Spears (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.2 million
3-4 DE Stephen Bowen (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.7 million
3-4 DE Jason Hatcher (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.7 million
NT Junior Siavii (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.2 million
RLB Steve Octavien (restricted)- resigned
S Ken Hamlin
S Gerald Sensabaugh (restricted)- tendered (2nd)
S Pat Watkins (restricted)- resigned 1 year 1.1 million
S Alan Ball (exclusive rights)- resigned
K Shaun Suisham (restricted)
Cowboys acquire OT Alex Barron from Rams for OLB Bobby Carpenter
Cowboys announce retirement of C Duke Preston
Cowboys re-sign G Montrae Holland
Cowboys re-sign S Alan Ball
Cowboys re-sign WR Sam Hurd
Cowboys re-sign S Pat Watkins
Cowboys re-sign 3-4 DE Stephen Bowen
Cowboys re-sign 3-4 DE Jason Hatcher
Cowboys re-sign NT Junior Siavii
Cowboys re-sign OT Pat McQuistan
Cowboys re-sign 3-4 DE Marcus Spears
Cowboys re-sign RLB Steve Octavien
Cowboys cut S Ken Hamlin
Cowboys cut OT Flozell Adams
Cowboys re-sign G Cory Procter
Cowboys tender S Alan Ball
Cowboys tender RLB Steve Octavien
Cowboys tender WR Miles Austin
Cowboys tender S Gerald Sensabaugh
Cowboys tender 3-4 DE Marcus Spears
Cowboys tender 3-4 DE Jason Hatcher
Cowboys tender OT Pat McQuistan
Cowboys tender NT Junior Siavii
Cowboys tender S Pat Watkins
Cowboys tender G Cory Procter
Cowboys tender WR Sam Hurd
Cowboys tender 3-4 DE Stephen Bowen